The authors measured the spatial extent of movement of older persons (i.e., life space) and examined factors that are related to life space. A larger life space was positively correlated with self-report measures of disability. In generalized logit models adjusted for demographics and time of year, a larger life space was associated with less visual impairment, higher levels of lower extremity motor performance, global cognition, and social involvement, and with personality and purpose in life. The results suggest that the range of environmental movement in older adults is a useful indicator of health in old age and may complement measures of disability.
"For community-dwelling older people, mobility plays a key role in maintaining independence and active social participation (Satariano et al., 2012; Rantakokko et al., 2013a). Life-space mobility assesses where, when, and how an individual moves through different life-space areas in daily activities, and has the potential to reflect early signs of mobility decline and difficulty in social participation (Baker et al., 2003; Barnes et al., 2007). "
"Regarding the connection between cognitive performance and OOHB, research shows that mobility indicators, such as gait and balance, are positively related to cognitive performance, with stronger associations in older than in younger age groups (Li et al. 2001b; Lindenberger and Baltes 1994, 1997). Second, better cognitive abilities have been found in individuals with larger life spaces (Barnes et al. 2007; Stalvey et al. 1999; Wood et al. 2005). Third, walking speed is associated with cognitive abilities, particularly executive functions (Ble et al. 2005; Hausdorff et al. 2005; Holtzer et al. 2006, 2007). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous studies on predictors of out-of-home behavior (OOHB) have often neglected the multidimensional nature of this construct. The present study distinguished between two levels of analyzing OOHB: out-of-home mobility seen as single behavioral units (e.g., number of places visited, action range, and walking) versus OOHBs seen as engagement in integrated, larger activity units (e.g., cognitively and physically demanding activities). We examined whether a differential relationship between these levels of OOHBs with established predictors of OOHBs, i.e., socio-demographic variables, cognitive abilities, physical functioning, and depression, exists. A sample of 100 cognitively healthy, community-dwelling adults with a mean age of 70.8 years underwent a multi-method OOHB assessment using GPS- (out-of-home mobility) and questionnaire-based (out-of-home activity engagement) measures. Predictors were assessed based on internationally implemented procedures. Regression analyses showed that walking-based mobility and engagement in physical activities could be predicted by physical functioning, whereas most effects of socio-demographic variables, such as age and gender, and of depression on OOHBs were negligible. At the bivariate level, episodic memory was related to action range, global mobility, and to cognitively demanding activity engagement, but not to walking, whereas executive function was related with physically demanding activity engagement only. However, some of these connections became weaker in the full predictor model. Findings support the notion that it is necessary to assess OOHB as a multiple-indicator construct.
European Journal of Ageing 06/2014; 11:141-153. DOI:10.1007/s10433-013-0292-6 · 1.27 Impact Factor
"To date, no studies have directly assessed the role control beliefs may play in the relationship between cognitive function and life space despite evidence to suggest that control beliefs can influence functional outcomes (Mirowsky & Ross, 2003; Rowe & Kahn, 1998). Likewise, prior studies examining mobility restriction and cognition have emphasized the need to investigate the role of personality and psychological variables, which includes personal control beliefs (Barnes et al., 2007; Yeom et al., 2008). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examined the relationship of cognitive and functional measures with life space (a measure of spatial mobility examining extent of movement within a person's environment) in older adults, and investigated the potential moderating role of personal control beliefs. Internal control beliefs reflect feelings of competence and personal agency, while attributions of external control imply a more dependent or passive point of view. Participants were 2,737 adults from the ACTIVE study, with a mean age of 74 years. Females comprised 76% of the sample, with good minority representation (27% African American). In multiple regression models controlling for demographic factors, cognitive domains of memory, reasoning, and processing speed were significantly associated with life space (p < .001 for each), and reasoning ability appeared most predictive (B = .117). Measures of everyday function also showed significant associations with life space, independent from the traditional cognitive measures. Interactions between cognitive function and control beliefs were tested, and external control beliefs moderated the relationship between memory and life space, with the combination of high objective memory and low external control beliefs yielding the highest life space (t = -2.07; p = .039). In conclusion, older adults with better cognitive function have a larger overall life space. Performance-based measures of everyday function may also be useful in assessing the functional outcome of life space. Additionally, subjective external control beliefs may moderate the relationship between objective cognitive function and life space. Future studies examining the relationships between these factors longitudinally appear worthwhile to further elucidate the interrelationships of cognitive function, control beliefs, and life space.
Psychology and Aging 08/2011; 27(2):364-74. DOI:10.1037/a0025212 · 2.73 Impact Factor
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